To my parents on my graduation day -- Thank You!
When I started this final semester I had so much on my plate, graduate school applications, graduation plans, work, and classes. I struggled and scrambled and worried and through it all you both were behind me, pushing and supporting me. You all have done so much for me, not just in the last four years but, for my entire life. Neither of you had much when you started life together, as you've told me many times you ate hamburger helper without the hamburger. You spent money on formula for me instead of food for you all. I don't remember much about that time in my life but, I do remember the hard work, effort, strength, love, and drive I saw in the two of you.
You went through deployments, field training, retirement, and school; all while still making mom smile, helping me with my homework and continuously checking in on Grandma and Grumpa. You were deployed for some big stuff, you missed out on softball games, band competitions, and my first prom.
I know how much you wanted to be there and I always knew you were there with me when I was reaching these milestones. When you retired you came to every marching band performance, helped me move into my dorm, and came to school to see me just because.
In the last few months, as my undergraduate career comes to an end, I have been faced with some important decisions and issues that I have struggled to accept. You listened to me complain, gave me encouragement and advice, and most importantly loved me every step of the way. You helped me understand that God has a plan for me and in due time it would play out and I would end up somewhere I never imagined all for the better. You told me over and over again how you won't even begin to say that you understand what I'm going through but, what mattered most was you always supported me.
Thank you for giving me that constant support, encouragement, advice, wisdom and most importantly love. You may have missed some big moments in my life but, on this day, you are here calling my name from the stands and that makes up for all the competitions and proms you ever missed. Thank you for always loving me Daddy, I love you.
I could write a million pages full of thank you's to you but, I'll try to condense it down to a paragraph or two. My whole life my list of friends has changed; it's shrunk, it's grown, it's morphed more times than a chameleon. Though one thing has never changed; you have always been at the top of that list. You are my best friend, my confidante, but first my momma. You have been there for me through everything that has ever happened in my life.
In the last four years, you have become the one person that I can't go even a day without talking to. I call you every day sometimes twice a day, we text, we Snapchat, every chance I get to talk to you I take. Even if I don't have much to talk about it's just nice to hear your voice. When I started college I came home every week and saw you all the time, when I moved into my first apartment and over the last three years I know I haven't come home as often but, every time I see you I never want to leave. I know that there are Daddy's girls but I, am a Momma's girl. When I was sick, scared, or freaking out because of some ridiculous drama in my life you were always there to talk me down and bring me back to reality.
In the last year, I have faced some extremely tough moments. Whether they were personal moments or educational moments. Every time that I had someone piss me off, upset me, talk down to me, or disappoint me I came to you and you were never annoyed with my questions or constant complaining.
You have pushed me, yelled at me, supported me, and loved me every day since I was born but, I feel like even more since I started college. I'm not totally sure where I am going in the next year or what path I am going to walk down and even though I feel like I've disappointed you because of this, you've told me how proud you are of me and how you thank God every day for having a daughter like me.
Every time you said that to me, it helped push me to do better, try harder, and not be so hard on myself. You are my biggest inspiration momma and what you have done in the last few years with your education has given me the role model I needed. I hope one day I can be as successful as you have been and be as amazing of a person as you are. I love you more Momma.
You have both told me how proud you are of me but, as I walk across the stage I want you all to know how much I love you and how thankful I am that God gave me parents like you two. You never let me feel down about myself, you would let me fall, pick me back up, love on me, dust me off and send me back out into the world. You protected me from the bad, taught me about the good, and have given me every opportunity to succeed in life.
I know that you all are proud of me but, I hope one day I will feel as proud of myself as you do of me. Thank you both for the amazing life you've given me but, more importantly, thank you for everything you've done for me in the last four years. So, as I walk across the stage give each other a high five because you got me here and no one else can say that.
"You is Kind, You is Smart, You is Important." - Aibileen Clark